Updated: Jul 5, 2019
We performed a Premium Detail on a Mercedes GLS 550 and as our first blog post, wanted to talk about the process, techniques and some products used to give our clients a better understanding of everything that goes into this detail. This is the most basic package we offer but it is far from “basic”! This is a three to four hour detail, includes exterior and interior and is the same package we perform for maintenance details.
This specific vehicle is not on a maintenance program, but we do service it around every two months. It is a “mom car” so kids are always in it creating messes in the back seats but with the frequency and level of details it receives, it remains in great condition. Let’s get into the steps…
1 - Rims, Wheel Wells and Tires
We, of course, start by getting everything that is needed to complete the exterior of the car. For example, the pressure washer, buckets, chemicals, hoses, etc. Note that we do need access to a water spigot and electrical outlet to perform our services but considering 95% of our details are at our client’s homes, that’s normally not an issue. Next, we start on the tires/rims…
We hose down the rims and wheel wells to rinse all the loose dirt off followed by spraying the tires with a chemical and agitating the surface with a brush to clean and remove that brown coloring. This leaves a natural, new tire look and is now ready to be hydrated/dressed at the end of the detail. We then move to the rims making sure to hit the barrels, behind the spokes and the face before using a brush to get into any tight spaces such as around the lug nuts, air nozzle and edge of the rim.
After all four wheels are finished, we then address the wheel wells and exhaust pipes. This process is straight forward… We simply scrub the plastic of the wheel wells by hand using a saturated towel and a fancy product called elbow grease!
2 - Cleaning of the Body
After the rims are finished, we start to prepare to clean the body. The vehicle is rinsed, same as the rims, to remove loose dirt/contaminates. We then prepare the equipment needed such as the buckets… yes you read that right. We use the two-bucket method which means we have a rinse bucket and a wash bucket to minimize the amount of dirt that gets transferred from our wash bucket back onto the car. If we were to only use one bucket, by the end of the wash the water would be brown and filled with dirt that could potentially cause micro-marring if used on the paint. On top of using two buckets, we also have Grit Guards on the bottom of each bucket that keep any dirt in the water at the bottom and gives us a way to agitate any contaminates out of our mitts.
Once everything is prepared, the vehicle is foamed using a Foam Cannon. This loosens any dirt and suspends it off the paint in the suds along with adding a lubricant when wiping down the vehicle as another way to minimize the chances of marring the paint. We start at the top of the vehicle, working our way down, panel by panel, making sure to never bring our wash mitt back up after being at the bottom of a panel. Reason being, there are much more contaminates at the bottom of the vehicle from the tires kicking it up that you wouldn’t want to drag across the paint. So, once we have reached the bottom of a panel, the wash mitt is rinsed in the rinse bucket, dunked in the wash bucket for fresh solution and repeated panel by panel until finished.
We then hook up our water filter for the final rinse. This filter allows us to have deionized water which wont leave water spots after drying. That’s how we can have a touch free drying process in conjunction with compressed air to blow out any trapped water from in crevices, behind door handles, in mirrors, or anywhere it could be sitting. Once completely dry, we wipe down the door jambs using a saturated microfiber towel and then it’s onto the interior!
3 - Interior
We start by vacuuming the floors making sure to get under every seat, compartment, crevice, etc. While vacuuming, we also dust any hard surfaces using an ultra-soft brush (to not mar the trim) to push any debris into the vacuum.
Next, we wipe down the hard surfaces using a saturated microfiber towel addressing the cup holders for dried liquids, the top of the dash for excess dust, door handles for caked on dirt, etc. The leather seats were then wiped down using a cleaner/conditioner. There was no need for a deep cleaning since this vehicle is regularly maintained.
Last are the windows which are cleaned using a specific glass cleaner and two towels. The first towel is overly saturated and is used for the initial cleaning. The second towel is used to wipe any excess product off the windows to leave them steak-free. If the first towel is not saturated enough, the product will dry on the windows before you have a chance to wipe it down with the second towel which will leave streaks.